Water Works Theatre

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Thanks to You

Shakespeare Royal Oak offers me a time to distill many of my so-called higher passions into one experience: excellence in the arts, service to my home community, building education and career growth opportunities for the emerging generation.

Then there’s the joy of creating the magic of live outdoor theater. The unison laughter of a relaxed group of pleasant people on an evening in the park. The bonds that are formed in the doing of it. The sunset. The lights. The lost and found. The child discovering Shakespeare. The smiles and thank-yous. These joys bring me back to do it again and again.

And in every season there is an opportunity for me to grow, to find more in me. That’s the pay-off.

The many people who’ve joined me in this, from patrons to donors to artists to volunteers, are the doers of it. I’m sure you are one of them.

So my thanks to you!

Ed Nahhat

Thank You for a Great Season!

This Season

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming Of The Shrew is full of empowered, feisty characters and we are lucky to have Oakland University’s esteemed Lynnae Lehfeldt directing it this summer. She is an artist of consequence, and it matters that she is directing this show this year”, said Water Works President Ed Nahhat. “In our version, the taming goes both ways for these lovers, Petruchio and Katherina. Audiences will have to decide who the shrew actually is. Lynnae is the perfect director to bring this wonderful comedy to our stage.”

Taming of the Shrew’s opening night highlights and interviews:

Shakespeare in Love and War

Shakespeare in Love and War is another Water Works original, based on the Bard’s timeless tales of the most dramatically important times in life: war and love.  Our fun daylight show finds Shakespeare’s enduring lovers and enemies, who are sometimes both to each other, at their best and their worst. Soldiers returning from war, lovers awaiting their return, romance under the cloud of war, the epic comedy of the battle of the sexes.  This stellar cast of four versatile actors, who are equally skilled in full combat as they are in heartache, brings to life the most intense times of life that Shakespeare ever wrote.  Directed and compiled by our Artistic Director, Sara Catheryn Wolf, Shakespeare in Love and War is destined for greatness.


Water Works Teen Ensemble returns to the festival for its seventh summer. The original two-week outdoor creative experience for high school students provides and opportunity for the participants to cast, direct, and present a complete performance of a Shakespeare play. This summer, the ensemble will present Hamlet on the Starr Jaycee Park stage.

You can support us again by clicking the button below!


More >


KidsACT logo 4C


Award-winning director and Water Works veteran, Frannie Shepherd-Bates is Education Director for KidsAct! and Water Works Teen Ensemble. More >




There are many ways to support Water Works Theatre Company. You can advertise in our program, volunteer your time or expertise, become a sponsor or make a financial donation. It all ensures that this community jewel continues. Find out how you can help >



Learn more about Water Works Theatre Company: our beginnings, our passion and our future. Tell me the story >



Have questions about your Shakespeare Royal Oak experience? We have the answers. Get the FAQs >



KidsACT logo 4C
It will be a great summer this year with KidsAct!

This six-day learning experience for students entering grades 1-8 offers instruction in Shakespeare, stage combat, dance, and comedic improvisation from highly qualified, professional teaching artists. Students then perform in an hour-long showcase to be presented for friends and family in Starr Jaycee Park.

KidsAct! returns for its new season July 31-August 5, 2017.

Register for KidsAct! $230

Download KidsAct Registration Form 2017 and KidsAct Welcome Letter 2017.

Continue reading: KidsAct!

Water Works Teen Ensemble

In its seventh year and with a new name, Water Works Teen Ensemble, our extraordinary high school-age outdoor experience, takes on new challenges. Last year, our high school students auditioned for, performed, and produced a full-fledged production of The Tempest. This year’s production is Hamlet.

Auditions: June 4 from 1-4pm at Starr Presbyterian Church, Royal Oak

Water Works Teen Ensemble returns for its new season July 17-31, 2017.

Register for WWTE $300

Download WWTE Registration Form 2017 and WWTE Welcome Letter 2017.

Continue reading: Water Works Teen Ensemble

Ways to Support Water Works Theatre

Best Kept Secret

Some say Water Works is the area’s best kept cultural secret. But the truth is that since 2001 Water Works has presented the biggest and best outdoor professional Shakespeare festival in Michigan. We’re proud to say that we have inspired many other groups to pop up around the state, and we encourage their legacy.  Yet we still offer your family the highest quality, affordable cultural experience anywhere.  From our friendly atmosphere and first rate performances, to our top-notch education programs, we guarantee you will love your time in the park with us.

Help Us This Year

It’s all close to home in a beautiful park in two perfect midsummer weeks. But we need YOU to help keep the dream alive. Think about it: when you go to Stratford, see a Broadway play or even a touring show downtown, you will easily spend more than double Water Works’ ticket prices. Not to mention all the travel, dining and parking.

We’re asking you to help us make up the difference between what we charge our audience, and what it really takes to do it right.

Spread the Word!

  • Recommend us to your company for sponsorship
  • Bring a group to the show. Call 248.399.3727 if your group is ten (10) or more!
  • Make a tax deductible donation.
  • Promote us on Facebook and other social media.
  • Please help this wonderful local jewel of the arts. Together we can make 2014 our biggest and best year ever! Thank you!


Reach over 3,000 sophisticated patrons by advertising with us.  Full, half and quarter page ads are available now. Click here for more information and rates.


Caught the bug? Water Works puts interns and community-minded volunteers to work and they enjoy the fun too. From marketing, signage, hospitality to ushering and even backstage jobs, we have it all. Let us know what area interests you, and we’ll find a fit! Just send us an e-mail and we’ll get back to you!

Sponsorship Opportunities

For two weeks in the park, Water Works expects to impact 3500+ patrons to our ticketed theatre events. Over 50 professional artists and teachers are employed, and 80 to 100 local families enjoy the excitement of our outdoor education programs. Each year we also offer growth opportunities for 6 interns beyond high school.

While Water Works collects audience feedback to measure satisfaction and assist us in our future programming decisions, we do not directly solicit age and address information from our patrons. Our experience since 2001 has shown us, however, that our audience is culturally diverse, generally with (or pursuing) higher education, geographically central to Royal Oak, with high awareness of the arts and appreciation for community quality of life issues.  We see significant long term loyalty in our audiences, and in families in our education programs.  For most of those who come to be entertained, to be educated, or to work at their craft here, Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak has become a valued annual tradition.

Share Water Works’ commitment to keeping professional Shakespeare in this community by financially sponsoring our production. Please contact Water Works Theatre Company at 248.399.3727 or email us for sponsorships of $500.00 or more. We want to make the most of your support. Thank you!


Online donations are gratefully accepted. Please also contact Water Works Theatre Company at 248.399.3727 or email us for donation information.